Friday, February 27, 2009
I love havin' me some stockpile. I mean, really and truly. Stockpile shoulda been my middle name. If I don't have several boxes, pounds, cartons, or cases of something, then we're running out. I love buying in bulk. Ya know, if 50lbs. of flour is cheaper per oz. than 5lbs, than buy the 50lbs. The sad thing is that it makes it really hard to budget that way. If I buy 50lbs. of flour (last time I did it cost about $55) that's 2 whole months of grocery budget!!
When we decided to shrink our grocery budget from $50/week to $25/week, I realized that bulk buying might have to go out the window. Also at that time I was shopping exclusively at WalMart, occasionally going to Kroger or FoodLion for super-duper sales, and getting things like chocolate chips and yeast from the "Big Box Store" with my MIL.
Then I discovered coupons and "Krogering"! It was hard for me to make the switch from WalMart to Kroger. I used to "swear up and down" (not really) that WalMart was the cheapest place to grocery shop, period. Flat out the only place.
By using coupons and combining them with Kroger's sales I've been able to very easily stick to my $25/week budget and get SO MUCH MORE than I'd be able to get at WalMart for $25. And I get a lot of name-brand stuff for pennies or free! I would have never believed it.
Here are some other ways that I cut down our grocery costs:
~ Homemade Laundry Soap and Dishwasher Detergent. Both cost just pennies to make, and get the job done just as well. The dishwasher detergent I have had a little trouble with... mostly leaving a "film" on clear glass and some kinds of plastics, but I remedy that by washing the clear glass stuff by hand (it's not that much), and wiping the film off the plastic with a dish towel. I've tried different things to eliminate it, but haven't found a solution yet. I figure for the $$ it's saving me, I don't mind taking those extra steps.
~ Using cold water to wash clothes as much as possible (I guess this isn't really grocery related, but...)
~ FREE toilet paper! Using the $.50 Cottonelle coupon at Kroger that you can find from time to time .
~ Give up brand loyalty. I have a preference of what brand I like in certain things. But if I can get that "item" for free, I just forget about brand loyalty. Yesterday I got (4) 12ct. bags of razors for free. Will I like them? Dunno. Will they still shave my legs and armpits? Yup. TMI? Sorry.
~ Try the off brand if coupons aren't available. This mostly effects Daniel's lunch. Sandwich meat is not cheap. And there aren't often coupons out there that make "name brand" cheaper than off brand, so I buy what ever's cheapest. He likes chips in his lunch. Chips are expensive. No way you slice or dice it, they are costly. While I was still WalMart loyal, we tried Great Value chips. Yucko. They aren't GROOOOSS, but almost. When I started going to Kroger, we discovered that alot of Kroger brand stuff is pretty decent stuff! We buy Kroger brand "Doritos" for about 1/3 the price of Tostitos brand. The same goes for a ton of other stuff. Cheese, milk, eggs...
~ Reusing Ziploc bags! People frown at me and scold me for this sometimes, but I do it anyway. I might buy 1 box of Ziplocs (1 box ea. of gal and quart size) a year. I wash and reuse them until they fall apart or get holes in them. When I empty one, I rinse it out right away, and then when I'm washing dishes I wash them out well with hot, soapy water. I have some Gatorade bottles on my counter that I use as my bag drying rack. I am most frowned upon for doing this with bags that I have stored raw meat in. Here is my argument: You wash and reuse your plates, counters, knives and cutting boards, how is a plastic bag different? I do try to reuse meat bags for meat, but if cookies get into a meat bag I don't freak out. IF for some reason I forget to rinse out a meat bag and it gets really gross before I wash it, I do throw it out, but I don't let that happen much. Base line: My mom has done this my whole life and no one has ever died or gotten deathly ill from it.
~ Cloth napkins and paper towels. I hate to buy something that's just going to get thrown away. I might as well just throw a quarter in the trash can every day. (I haven't gotten to the point of using "Family Cloth" instead of toilet paper....) Daniel takes an egg sandwich with him for breakfast every morning. I used to wrap it in a paper towel. That way he wouldn't have to remember to bring a plate back in every day. Then one day I had a light bulb moment, and decided to cut up some old, worn out T-shirts. They aren't glamorous or beautiful. I didn't even cut each piece exactly the same size. I basically just chopped the fronts and backs into 4 pieces, lopped off the sleeves and cut them open, and viola - 10 paper-towels! I use these for paper towels, napkins (unless we have company), an emergency tissue, rags for floor-washing, whatever. We have enough to last a while, and when the pile starts to run low, I ask Daniel to bring in the stash from his work van. I run them through the washer, and we have a whole new stack to work on again :)
~ Buy meat only on markdown or a loss-leader sale. This one takes some patience and a whole different mind set. Gone are the days of pre-packaged boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Or cute, convenient 1lb. pkgs. of 100% lean ground beef. The pocketbook comes first, not "which cut I like best". I buy whole chickens (or turkeys) when they are on sale. And not just an "oooo, $.99/lb sale" - heh, that's just a gimmick. Hold out a while and somebody, somewhere will have whole birds for $.69 or less a pound. I buy SEVERAL. As many as I can squeeze into my budget that week. I bring them home and cut them up myself. It took me a couple times to get the hang of cutting up a chicken, but now I can cut one up in 10 minutes - boneless, skinless breasts, wings, and leg pieces or drumsticks and thighs. Then I throw the "carcass" into a stockpot with a little water. And cook that baby until the cows come home. Then I dump it all in a strainer, drain off the HOMEMADE CHICKEN BROTH!!, and then pick all the rest of the mat off the bones. I usually end up with a little more than 1 cup more of meat per chicken. That's enough you could make some chicken salad sandwiches, some soup, or whatever. (Chill the broth, take the grease off the top and then freeze it in reused ziploc bags!) For beef, it takes a little more skill. Kroger's markdowns usually aren't "cheap enough" for me. I try to shoot for $1.50/lb on beef. Usually the lowest markdown is around $2.
~ Check for other Markdowns!! I no longer buy powdered milk. Or "regular" milk for full price. I only buy milk when it's marked down. And I always check for markdowns on anything else that I'm buying - cheese, eggs, lunch meat, produce, frozen foods, etc. Again, you can't be picky about the type or brand. Some weeks we have whole milk, some weeks it's 1%. I try to buy marked down milk in 1gal. size. It's cheaper than 1/2gal. Since we don't drink that much milk, I bring it home, pour it into 4 quart sized plastic Rubbermaid jugs and freeze them.
I know this is getting pretty long. Here's a couple other random things I do that help our budget: I plant a garden every year and freeze or can from it. Last summer I bought and canned 2 bushels of peaches. The cost came out to a little more than $1/week over a year. And I have all the canned peaches I want. I love home canned peaches and it's cheaper per quart than buying (the same quality of yummy-ness) them from the store. The same would go for any fruit, canned or frozen.
Please make sure to check out Phoebe's blog, especially her Finding Freedom Fridays :)
LOL, I figured that I'd be back to edit and add! I want to say that I DO continue to stockpile!! Right now we have several boxes of cereal, boxed potatoes, bottles of mustard, razors, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. My stockpiling strategy HAS changed, though. No longer do I stockpile because we're out of something, but I stockpile only when something is SUPER cheap or free. This way, I don't have to pay full price for something when we do run out.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I went to Kroger and WalMart today: WalMart:
16oz. Velveeta Cheese - $2.56 AQ
used $1.00 IPQ
(4) 12pks. Schick Disposable Razors - FREE AQ
used (4) $2 coupons, scanned at $1.97 since that was the shelf price
Total OOP: $3.04
Total saved: $8.88 or 74%
24oz. lb. Kroger Block Cheese - $2.79 (Markdown)
Kroger Mixed Veg - $1.00
Kroger Ham - $2.49
Kroger Sliced Cheese - $1.28
(2) Kroger Orange Juice - $1.46/ea.
(2) Dole Mandarin Oranges - $.62/ea AQ
used $.75/2 coupon
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks - $.62/ea AQ
used $.75/2 coupon
(3) Chunk Lite Tuna - $.50/ea AQ
used B2G1 coupon
1.58lb Red Grapes - $1.58
Kroger Pretzels - $1.00
Puffs Tissues - $1.45 AQ
used $.25 coupon, doubled to $.50
4pk. Cottonelle - FREE AQ
used $.50 IPQ, doubled to $.99
Total OOP: $19.13
Total Savings: $10.08 or 34%
Whole trip OOP: $22.17
Whole trip Savings: $18.96 or 46%
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
You can go to www.kroger.com and look at their salepaper online.
Also feel free to go here for Andrea's Snack Summary, which is often very similar to our deals.
About 9pm I decided to swig down a mug of Thera-Flu Daytime tea. Sometimes "nighttime" meds make me sleep TOO deep. It wasn't too bad tasting. Right before I went to bed I took another dose. I wanted to kick this cold in the butt, so more power to me if I took 2 doses. And I could not go to sleep. I laid there and rested and listened to the 101 clocks in the house go tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. I was comfortable, I was warm (with the blanket over my head), I was drowsy, but couldn't sleep. I finally started dozing off and on, but still not really sleeping. Around 3am I started feeling uncomfortable in my stomach. I rutched around hoping it was just some weird cramps or something, and tried to go back to sleep. The more I laid there the more it wasn't going away. Or lessening. I tossed around the ideas of "it's nothing" and "should I really get up and get something to barf in?" and mostly "I do NOT want to get stomach sick!!!!! I want to GO HOME!!!!!".
Around 3:30 I realized I needed a barf bucket. So I grabbed the trashcan from the living room (I was sleeping on the couch since Sally & Andrew got home at midnight), took the bag of trash out of it, and waited. But not for long. I made a major sacrifice to the plastic throne. And felt much better! Good, maybe that's all it was. I was able to go to sleep then, but woke up later with a repeat session of stomach hurting, then getting worse and worse, and getting hotter and hotter and hotter, then losing it, and then being so freezing cold I thought all my sweat was going to turn into icicles. That happened a third and last time around 4:30, and then I slept solid until about 7:30 when I woke up feeling normal and actually a little hungry!
When the rest of the house woke up, Andrew immediately made me some jello, and I had some plain pancakes and jello for breakfast, still feeling fine. My stomach did "feel" a little bit shortly after breakfast, and I was really hoping that breakfast was going to stay down!! But I didn't want to stay there any more! I wanted to go home!! So I loaded up my car, borrowed a bucket from Sally, took the rest of my jello and a plastic spoon, and came home :) Ahh, my own glorious home!! I love you!!
I had an appointment yesterday afternoon, and instead of making it home in time to get a nap in before I had to leave, I had just enough time to eat a small lunch and take a shower. When I got home from, Daniel was home and it was SO good to see him again! Absence makes the heart grow fonder for sure!
I cleaned up the kitchen a little bit, put supper in the oven, and then sat and did nothing for the rest of the evening. My sinuses were really starting to hurt, my neck hurt, I was exhausted (I'm sure from the go-go-go for 4 days, and then being up 1/2 the night) and ended up falling asleep on the couch.
This morning I still don't feel great. My throat is still sore and scratchy and I don't want to get into any shouting contests. My sinuses are still loaded and I just want it to go away.
But I need to figure out what kind of grocery trip I need to make either today or tomorrow, figure out if any bills need paid, and do a ton of laundry.
We both slept in this morning (Daniel doesn't have any work today so far :( ) and then I made french toast for breakfast. Thankfully the "stomach thing" is gone. I still don't really know what it was, maybe a reaction to the Thera-Flu tea?? I'm just so glad I'm home and getting to spend time with Daniel :)
Monday, February 23, 2009
Ok, we get everything wiped up, cleaned up, dried off, little bodies clothed for the day, and we sit down to eat breakfast. While we're eating breakfast, Paul was imitating Hannah in her coughing (I'd strongly warned and reprimanded him to NOT do it, but he's a little boy...) and she thought it was funny, so she "coughed" some more and ended up choking on her mouth of food. And then gagging and throwing up part of her breakfast. Paul got to see first-hand why you don't mess with Hannah when she's eating!!
We get through that ordeal, I put Paul on the potty (again), and go to take off Hannah's diaper so she can sit on her potty. (I'm huffing and puffing even as I'm writing this!) I take off her shoes, pull off her pants, and she has royally "blown out" both sides of her diaper. And onesie. And into her long-jons. And she constantly wants to "feel" down there anytime she's not fully clothed. And it got all over her socks, her feet, and she promptly started kicking and smearing up the wall beside the changing table. Then grabbing her poopy feet with her hands. GAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! She had it smeared EVERYwhere. Up her back, down both legs, grrrr. I was glad I had a good supply of wipes. (It was frustrating... not maddening. Just in case you couldn't read the difference.)
Then I had the challenge of getting her poopy onesie up over her head and arms without covering her further. I ended up wrapping the worst part in a wipe, then rolling the whole thing up to her chest, and then took it off.
And of course she didn't do any more poo-poo in her potty.
Ahh, this certainly has to be the worst part of the day, it will only go better. Please. Heh-Heh-Heh. They must've certainly known that I am going home tomorrow and wanted to make a lasting impression on me.
While most of the afternoon went well, and Paul and I had fun drawing pictures and coloring for a couple minutes, they were both the fussiest they'd been yet when I was trying to get supper ready.
Before getting supper ready, I was washing a couple dishes. Then Paul wanted to wash dishes, so I finished the ones I was doing, and got him set up to "wash dishes". While I was doing that Hannah just started wailing and wailing as if her world had just crashed down around her. Leaving Paul with serious instructions (such as do not turn on the water - I was afraid he'd end up with hot water and burn himself), I went to check her diaper. Again, she had done another blow-out. Not quite as bad as the first one, but I did have to change her onesie AGAIN (which meant taking off 2 other shirts), and take off her long-jons. I put the bare minimum of clothes back on her, knowing that as soon as supper was over, she was getting a royal bath. Goodness knows she needed it!!
We managed to get supper on the table before they both died of hunger (or so they thought), and everyone ate just fine.
Then Hannah had her bath and enjoyed it while Paul read books in the living room. Then we picked up all the toys, read our Bible Story, then Paul went back on the potty for his last session while I put Hannah to bed. Praise the Lord, she went to sleep without a problem!!! I fed her her bottle, she drank it all without trying to pull any thumb-int0-mouth tricks, and I put her in her crib as soon as she was done and she STAYED SLEEPING!!!!! Glory hallelujah!!!
We got Paul all spiffied up in his jammies and into bed with teeth brushed and face washed.
Then I crashed and burned and called Daniel. Ahh, some adult conversation!! That I can understand!! And I don't have to reply to each and every phrase and noise. I cleaned up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, folded the several loads of baby clothes that I ended up washing (blow-outs and wet jammies tend to use up alot of clothes...), emptied the trash and slop, and now I think I will start going to bed.
Sally & Andrew should be home right around mid-night. I can't wait to go home and see my Daniel!! And sleep in my own bed!! And eat food at the real mealtime, not trying to swallow my food whole between potty breaks. And no more Desitin under my fingernails (though it does make them look nice and white...). Or blow-outs. Or dumped over potty bowls.
But I think I will miss the baby snuggles and cute happy faces and all the baby-lovin. Just a little.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Hannah went to sleep without much fuss tonight, I'm sure thanks to Sally's over-the-phone advice last night :) We started the go-to-bed routine a bit earlier and it seemed to work just fine :)
Here are the subjects of my photography the past 2 days:
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Here are a few things that have crossed my mind today and yesterday:
Only a mommy would have a stinky, stinky bathroom because 2 little people pooped in their potties and it stinks to high heaven. Even after I "sprayed" 3 times.
Only a mommy would carry a bare-behinded baby who just pooped in her potty on her arm (to go put her diaper back on).
Only a mommy would dump out potty bowls, then immediately go eat a plateful of spaghetti.
I've been yawning and fuzzy-eyed since about 8:30. Paul & Hannah are finally asleep. I am headed there FAST. If I don't fall asleep here at the computer.
Last night Hannah (almost 1) wailed and wailed for 45 minutes after I put her to bed. After trying another bottle, making sure she had clean pants, and still nothing "working", she played on the kitchen floor for another hour happy as a clam before finally going to sleep.
Tonight Paul (2+) cried through his whole bath and getting into PJ's routine. I think I might be tone deaf to a few pitches now.
This morning Hannah woke up happy and cute and cheerful! And did the same thing after her afternoon nap. Paul and I had a session of "school" this morning while Hannah napped, and he had fun. Aunt Jul dropped by and taught Paul how to say "Cutie Patootie". I tried to teach Paul a motion song (we sing it at MOPS), and it was so cute and fun to watch and help him do the motions... esp. at the end of the song, the words are "God made me!" and he would sing "God ... made ... MEEE!!" Then he'd say "sing it again!!".
We're definitely have alot of fun times, but the not so fun times happen, too. I'm glad that Sally & Andrew are getting to take a break and kick back and relax and do "nothing" for a couple days, though.
And by the way, I didn't realize my post title was going to be so closely related to some of the post content. And I'm not a mommy, but I'm filling in and doing those things, so I guess I'm doing ok.
I have my teeth brushed, so I'm going to go crawl in bed and sleep as long and hard and fast as I can. Goodnight.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I went to both Kroger and CVS. I thought I'd brought my receipts with me, but I don't have them so I'll just have to post items and totals.
2 Kroger Chips - $1.99/ea.
2 Orange Juice - $1.46/ea.
1 Whipped Topping - $.99
2 Dial Handsoaps (I think these were $.18/ea after coupon)
Popcorn - $1.46
Total OOP: $13.64
*Only used coupons on the Dial Handsoap
Drr! I was just looking over this thinking "uh, all that Kroger stuff can't add up to $13.64". So I pulled out the calculator, and sure 'nuff, it doesn't. And I realized what was missing. I'd bought some reduced cubed steak. It was a nice big package (not family sized), and it was a good markdown price, so I got it. I'm thinking some country fried steak with gravy might be on the menu soon...
2 Colgate Toothpaste
2 Herbel Essence Shampoo
1 Venus Spa Breeze razor
*Used coupons for everything
*Used a $10 ECB
Total OOP: $3.45
Earned either $11 or $13-something in ECB's
Whole Trip OOP: $17.09
I don't know what the savings were, probably not much at Kroger, but pretty decent at CVS!!
I know this isn't close to my $25/week budget at all, but things are getting pretty (as in REALLY) slim in the income department, so I felt like it was only the right thing to do to cut back on groceries, too. Plus there wasn't much that I NEEDED to get, so I got the real bare bones. Ok, the OJ, cool whip, Popcorn, soap and whole CVS trip weren't "needed", but we've been out of popcorn for a while and it makes a healthy, cheap snack, the Valentine's Pie that I made needed cool whip to tame down the richness, and I would rather spend a dollar now on shampoo and toothpaste then wait until we're out and don't have a dollar to spend on it! :)
Wednesday night after we got home from choir practice I mixed up a batch of meatloaf (in my KitchenAid!) and froze it, unbaked, in 2 small pie plates. Thursday morning I mixed up 2 loaves of bread (in my KitchenAid!! I love that thing!) and a chicken pot pie. The pot pie went in the freezer, too.
I also washed and dried 2 loads of laundry and packed a duffel bag. I loaded up a bunch of other stuff, then Daniel helped me load the trunk full of empty canning jars, and I headed down the road.
I am babysitting Paul & Hannah, our nephew & niece, for a long weekend. This morning it was all me, baby! We survived breakfast and potty times, getting everyone dressed and presentable, teeth brushed, books read, toys played with, and right now Hannah is taking her morning nap.
I just checked in with Daniel, and he's home today :(. He's said he's working at hanging the 2nd pantry door :) That means if he gets it hung, no more doors to hang!!
I should go check on Paul... he's awfully quiet and hopefully that's a good thing. I hope to do some "real" blogging either this afternoon during nap time (if I don't take one myself!) or tonight after they go to bed.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Wed - Liver'n'Onions meal, carried over from last night
Thurs - Whatever Daniel Decides
Fri - Ditto
Sat, Sun & Mon - Ditto some more
Tues - Taco Soup from Freezer
Here's what I'm making for Daniel to pick from: Meatloaf and Chicken Pot-Pie. A friend also called today to say they were making him a meal, so he'll have 3 options. Wait, 4, because there should be leftovers from tonight's meal :P And of course there's a few hotdogs in the freezer, plenty of eggs and stuff for sandwiches. Or anything else he decides to get creative with. But I'm not worried. A: Because he's not a picky eater. B: Because he doesn't like the kitchen enough to want to "be creative" and make real food on his own :P
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sale prices may vary by region. I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.
Tyson Split Chicken Breast - $.99/lb
Slicing Tomatoes - $.99/lb
Oscar Mayer Meat Bologna or Cotto Salami - $.99/lb
Gwaltney Shank Portion Smoked Ham - $.99/lb
Kroger Canned Pineapple, 20oz. - $.99
*be sure to compare prices of other brands if you have coupons
Kroger Canned Fruit, Select Varieties 15 - 15.25oz. - $.99
Hormel Chili with Beans, 15oz - $.99
I know there have been coupons around for this, so check and see if you have some
Kroger Frozen Vegetables, Select Varieties 9 - 16oz. - $1.00
General Mills Cereal (select varieties) - $1.67
Coupons that can make these $.67 at Andrea's Snack Summary
Yoplait Yogurt, Select Varieties 16 - 24oz - $2.00
$.50 Yo-Plus Coupon, doubles to $1.00
$.35 Kids, Trix, etc. Coupon, doubles to $.70
Printable Coupons at Andrea's Snack Summary
Quaker Oatmeal, Select Varieties 18oz - $1.50
Buy 2 and use $1.00/2 coupon = $1.00 ea.
Smithfield Smoked Sausage, Links or Ropes 14 - 16oz. - $2.50
Hershey's Standard Bars, Select Varieties - $.50
Use BOGO coupon if you still have some
Mentos Gum, Select Varieties - $1.00
Dial Liquid Hand Soap, Select Varieties 7.5 - 11.25oz - $.88
$.35 Coupon, doubles to $.70 = $.18 ea.
Cottonelle Toilet Paper, 4-pack - $.99 (reg. price)
$.50 Internet Printable (doubles to $.99) at Andrea's Snack Summary
Maybelline New York - BOGO
$1 any Mascara, use 2 coupons (1 for each item)
Friday, February 13, 2009
The cousin of a lady in our choir just died after a year long battle with cancer, and he had this quote on his blog. I finally went today to look at it, and after reading this, I had to share it.
These are but streams. But God is the ocean. Powerful. I'm glad He's the ocean, aren't you?
Daniel left for work about 8:30 this morning, and I'm really hoping that he will have something to do most of the day. If so, that means he'll have worked just a little over 2 days this week. Yesterday he went and did one job and came back. Just this morning I was thinking about not doing a grocery shopping trip next week, and I think that with my egg, butter and milk stockpile, we'd make it just fine and never notice it. It will be my luck that they'll be giving away cheese or meat or something though and I'll feel a "need" to go.
We're still tossing around the different possibilities for extra income. For instance, Daniel could work for his dad's lawn care business on Saturdays, but he doesn't like doing that about as much as I don't like working. Plus it drives his allergies WILD in the spring time, which is right around the corner. But we have found an allergy pill that works for him, so it wouldn't be too bad. The plus to that, though, is that it wouldn't be nearly the commitment that my going back to the bank would be. It's not like they'd hire him and he'd have to work every single Saturday for the rest of his life. He could work "as needed" on our end of things. Maybe it's mean, but I'm encouraging him to ask about it. I don't know if he will or not. We shall see. For now I'm still praying and trusting that the Lord will provide, He knows exactly what our needs and wants are.
On to other more normal things, I get to make a cake today! Another baby shower cake, this one will be chocolate, thank goodness. Something about white/yellow cake and me just don't get along nearly as well as chocolate.
I also want to make Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Pie for our Valentine's Dinner dessert :) Otherwise our dinner will not be anything too exciting - turkey thigh, mashed potatoes, green beans, and who knows... we might pull out a little wine to go with it all :) Last week I used a gift card and got this to give Daniel. I also got this, but I haven't started it yet. I was so excited because I had enough "punches" on my store card to get 20% off my purchase, and I was able to get both items and only had to pay $.18! I was so happy! I know this is going to be a good addition to our household :)
And today is the day to clean the bathroom. I h.a.t.e cleaning bathrooms. I don't know what it is, but I'd almost rather do anything else but clean the bathroom. It's not even the "gross" factor, I just don't like cleaning them. It's probably the fact that there's so many little places that you have to contort yourself into a pretzel in order to clean them. Don't fence me in! And the tub!! Whoever designed the bathtub never considered what it would take to clean one. Can I get an amen?
Ok, I must get offa here and get to work. I have the bed made. Check. I have eaten breakfast. Check. I am dressed. Check. Only three things that I can cross off my list. That means there's alot more to do yet!! But I need to get a cake made and in the oven first. See ya later!!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
2# Carrots - $1.74
Celery - $1.50
Head Lettuce - $1.45
3# Onions - $2.45
2 Kroger Cream of Mushroom - $1.58
2 Kroger Value Corn - $.98
Kroger CHICKEN Bouillon - $1.65
Kroger Value Catsup - $1.12
Kroger "American" Cheese - $1.39
Kroger Whipped Topping - $.79
5# Kroger AP Flour - $1.97
Cottonelle - FREE after coupon
Used $.50 IPQ
4 Hershey's w/ Almonds - $.42 after coupoon
4 Hershey's Special Dark - $.42 after coupons
Used a BOGO Q
Trident Gum - $.34 after coupon
Used $.75 Q
Total OOP - $20.44
Total Saved (coupons & sales) - $7.72 or 28%
1 1/2 lbs. Butter - $3.00
Total OOP - $3.08
Total savings - $2.97 or 49%
6 whole Chickens - $.69/lb
Total OOP - $.07 :D
Whole Trip OOP - $23.59
Total Savings (not counting Ukrops) - $10.76 or 31%
Not bad for only using 6 coupons!
I have been holding on to two $10 Ukrops gift cards that we were given back in December as a thank you gift, waiting for a really good meat sale. Yay! I was so tickled pink last night when I went online and saw that they had whole chickens on sale for $.69/lb! I cheered out loud and Daniel asked what was going on :P As soon as I finish posting this and start the washing machine, I will start hacking away at the birds, cutting them up to freeze. I will then cook down the carcases to make broth and get the rest of the meat off. Oh, wow, I still am so excited about this!
A heads up: Note the Food Lion butter price. That's $2/lb. This sale price will run through next Tuesday, 2/17. It's not the cheapest I've ever seen it ($1.88/lb), but that's $.50 cheaper than the usual sale price! I don't specifically NEED butter, but since I had plenty of wiggle room this week, you bet I was going to grab some!! Same thing with the $.99/doz. eggs that were marked down at Kroger. I have 3 doz. already in the frige, but that is a steal, and I've never had eggs go bad on me.
I was really happy that I didn't have much at all on my "need" list this week, and I was able to restock the fresh veggies, get some extra corn and soup, and *derrrrr*, buy CHICKEN bouillon!! Last week I grabbed BEEF bouillon! I considered returning it but figured whatever, I'll keep it and use it eventually. Plus if I return it, they'd probably just throw it out if they're like any other food store where I've returned food. If you need some beef bouillon.... :)
Today is such a beautiful day! If I knew 100% that it wasn't going to get down to freezing for the rest of the winter, I'd go out and start planting my peas if I had the seeds. Today I feel a little more like "toughing it out" as far as Daniel's job and my going back to work goes. We just have to pray about it and see how the Lord guides us. Thanks to all of you who are praying. It's not easy to think about. There are hopefully some big changes in store for our family over the next year, and going back to work doesn't exactly fit into OUR "perfect plans". It's always tough to stare up at the knotted, tangled mess of thread and trust that God is up there weaving a perfect, beautiful "picture". We see only this side of things - He sees Eternity. The Alpha AND Omega.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Wed - Plantation Supper
Thurs - Frozen Pizza Kit (bought from my sister & bros for school fundraiser back in Nov)
Fri - Taco Soup from Freezer
Sat - Smoked Turkey Thigh, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Sun - Leftovers or Breakfast for Supper
Mon - Leftover Plantation Supper
Tues - Liver'n'Onions, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Supper's ready, time to go eat :) And then I must get on the ball and figure out my grocery list for tomorrow!!
And the floor is filled with things like an air-compressor to run the nailer, a circular saw to cut stuff that the big saw can't get to, and a shop-vac that has an extra long hose taped to the big saw to catch saw-dust.
We started reading this:More truthfully, I started reading this. After talking to Daniel about what I'm learning and wanting to do, he started reading it.
We've talked about my going back to work. We decided it was a "24-hour question" - see what we think about it tomorrow. Everything makes sense that I should, except that I want to sit down and cry just thinking about it. Daniel's work is slow, the past couple week's he's had at least 1 1/2 days off. The bank I did work at has a part time position open. It would insure that our cash flow would remain at least steady. Hopefully we'd have extra to put towards our Total Money Makeover. We probably could survive on beans and rice and rice and beans until the demand of HVAC work picks back up, but the slowness isn't just related to the nice weather, it's also this economical mess that we're in, so simply a couple days of severe weather isn't going to provide work for everyone for a year or two or three.
It's 72° outside today and the wash is hanging on the line. Daniel came out and helped me hang it up! And I'm getting ready to make a batch of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I have everything here to make them, and by golly, some cookie dough just might help me feel better.
I'm not really having a pity party over here, I just feel like it sometimes. I am totally LOVIN having my Daniel here with me all day! It is so much fun to be able to talk to him whenever I have a thought I want to share. We get to eat breakfast AND lunch AND dinner together!! We have more time to discuss and talk about anything that we want to discuss or talk about. Not to mention all the opportunities for huggin' and kissin' ;-)
So if God answers our prayers and it gets to be about 4° as a daytime high for a week or two and we get about 3' of snow... please don't be mad at us if you are a snow/cold weather hater. We're just trying to survive the economy, too.
And as an extra bonus: I realize that Daniel could NOT have a job right now. We praise the Lord that he does! Just this past Sunday morning our pastor asked for a show of hands for those that have lost or are going to lose their jobs; there were probably 1/2 a dozen. We are blessed. Our skies are just a little cloudy right now while it's tornado-ing and hurricane-ing for some other's.
Friday, February 6, 2009
In the grocery budget department, we averaged out to 25.85 a week. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm 100% sure that it would have been under budget if there hadn't been the great coupon fiasco. I'm glad that I do have a little play room in our grocery budget since I budget $30/week to include the papers, but they don't take up the whole extra $5. I still pretend that $25 is my limit!
This week and last week it was alot easier to get what I needed and stick in the $25 range. I think it's probably something that will come and go. So, for now, I'm going to leave it at $25 a week. It's working out fine so far and we're eating normal, everyday food :)
I do need to make a confession. At some point in December I did buy a large family pack of ground chuck from WalMart. It came out of the food budget, but it wasn't a regular grocery trip and I didn't blog about it. I also bought the lunch meat that we didn't use at our NYD get-together. And while we were up there for NYD, I bought 15lbs. of deerburger from my sister and her husband for $1/lb. And didn't blog about it. Considering that I didn't buy other groceries for 2 weeks in December, I'm sure I stayed within my budget for those meat purchases. But just in case you have been sitting there scratching your head going "when did you turn into a vegan?", we didn't. I just haven't had to buy meat for a month! I am on a major lookout for chicken or whole chickens to go on a super-duper sale. We're about out of chicken (though we do have some picked turkey on hand) and I want to replenish our supply. I'd like to find some on sale for $.39 - $.69/lb. That's my target price for buying chicken.
I've also learned - or maybe realized is more like it - that one of the top key rules for couponing is to NOT buy the item just because you have a coupon. Thankfully I didn't have to learn that the hard way, but I imagine alot of people do it. Instead, hold on to the coupon, wait for the item to go on sale, and THEN use the coupon.... but only if the sale + coupon make it a steal. In other words, I have a general idea in my head of what I'm willing to pay for something... Cereal, less than $1 and I'll start thinking about it. Veggies, $.50 is expensive - I aim for free. Milk, while there aren't coupons for it, I don't buy it unless it's marked down. An expired coupon that you have to throw away because you didn't use it is alot cheaper than buying something overpriced just to use the coupon!
And of course in our effort to be debt free, we threw a nice chunk at our mortgage principle with our January payment :)
There's our January in review! I'm excited to see how we do in February :)
Framingham Fudge Sauce
8 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup milk or cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tarter
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter
In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and milk together.
Stir in sugar, corn syrup, Cream of Tarter and salt.
Cook over low-med. heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.
Yields right about 2 cups.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, microwave a few seconds at a time to soften if needed. Or just dig your spoon in and get a good ol' glob :) Love handles may appear if self control is not exercised. Don't blame me, I'm just sharin' a recipe!
Note: This doesn't work well for chocolate syrup!
Check out Gayle's blog for more recipes from her weekly Recipe Swap!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Anyway, I'm going to be making chicken noodle soup for supper tonight. I thought about making homemade noodles for it, but I think I'll stick with egg noodles. I haven't figured out what to use as extra filler for it, though. I have noodles, I have broth, I have leftover gravy that I plan use add to it, and I have the chicken meat. I don't have celery or carrots, or I would add some of those to it. Maybe we'll just eat it like it is with some leftover peas, rolls, and maybe I'll throw some celery flakes in there with a little diced onion. This will be meal 3 from the chicken that I roasted earlier this week, and I'm sure we'll have leftover soup. Yay :)
Way off topic, any Dave Ramsey fans out there? I just started listening online to his broadcasts and I must say it's very inspiring! It encourages me to keep doing everything I can to stick to our budget so that extra money can go towards our mortgage. I'm actually checking around with some people in our Sunday School Class to see if I can find a copy of his book to borrow. We've read and re-read Larry Burkett's book, but it sounds like Dave Ramsey might be a little more "up to date", even though the basic principles are the same.
Well, I just wanted to post something. LOL. I guess I ought to go work on the rest of my to-do list. I have about 1/2 of it done and need to fold a load of laundry, dry and fold another load, sweep the floors, dust the living room and feed the dog yet.
I hope you're staying warm and dry!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Here's a picture of EVERYTHING: Food Lion (I'm starting with them 'cause it's easy :) )
1.13 lbs Grapes - $1.12
Total OOP: $1.15
MVP savings: $1.13 or 50%
1 lb. Ham lunchmeat, markdown - $1.89
(2) Yoplait Kids Yogurts - $1.00 ($.50/ea)
*used (2) $1.50 IPQ
(3) Totino's Pizza Rolls - $.75 ($25/ea)
*used (3) $.50 Q's, each doubled
2 lbs. Butter - $5.00 ($2.50/ea)
1 gal. Milk, markdown - $1.99
(3) Ragu Pasta Sauce - $2.60 ($.87/ea)
*used $1/3 Q
Kroger Vanilla - $.98
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks - $1.93 ($.96/ea)
*used $.75/2 Q
Kroger Beef Bouillon - $1.65
1 lb. Kroger Macaroni - $.88
1 lb. Kroger Rice - $.99
Kroger Chips - $1.67
(3) Multi-Grain Cheerios - $2.00 ($.67/ea)
*used (3) $.50 Q's, each doubled
Cottonelle - FREE, $.25 money-maker
*used $.50 IPQ, doubles to $.99
*had a $.25 cellfire Q on my card and didn't know it!
(2) Hershey Bars - $.21!!
*used a BOGO Q, they were on sale $.50/ea, the coupon took off $.79
18 ct. Kroger Eggs - $1.67
(4) Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce - $1.32 ($.33/ea)
*used $.50/2 Q
Used the $1 off your next order coupon that I got last week.
Side note: The 4 Manwich I'm going to donate to our church's food pantry. I can't stand the stuff, but it was really cheap and it filled out the 10 items I needed to get the $3 off at checkout (yes, another one of THOSE weeks!)
Total OOP: $26.26, minus the Manwich = $24.86
Saved (on the $24.86): $29.57 or 54%
Whole Trip OOP: $26.01
Total Saved: $30.70 or 54%
Check out my post here on this week's Kroger deals!
Monday, February 2, 2009
I clip most of the coupons from the Sunday inserts each week, but there may be some that I miss. And because I always cut them out, I can't pass along which Sunday's insert what coupons come from.
Note: Sale prices may vary by region. I am basing my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.
Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.
Kroger 18ct. Large Eggs - $1.67
Kroger Butter Quarters, 1lb. - $2.50
Perdue Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs - $.99/lb.
Hershey's Standard Bars, select varieties - $.50
Use BOGO coupon (buy 1 Milk Choc., Milk Choc. w/ Almonds, or Special Dark, 1.45 - 1.55oz. and get a Special Dark free) = $.50/2
General Mills Cereal, select varieties 9 - 12.5oz. - $1.67
Pictured in ad: Multi-Grain Cheerios, Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios
Use $1/any 1 listed (Trix listed) coupon = $.67/ea.
Use $.50/1 (doubles to $1) Multi-Grain Cheerios coupon = $.67ea.
Use $1/any 3 listed (any Cheerios and Trix listed) = $1.34/ea.
Several Internet Printable Coupon links here.
Yoplait Trix, Go-Gurt, Yo-Plus or Kids Yogurt, select varieties 16 - 24oz. - $2.00
Several Internet Printable Coupon links here that make these $.50 - $1.50/ea.
Cottonelle 4 roll pack - $.99
Buy 2, use $.50/2 (doubles to $1) coupon = $.25/ea.
Links to Internet Printable Coupons here that could make this FREE.
The following are part of a "Daytona 500" Sale.
Get $3 off when you purchase any 10 participating items.
I am only posting the "good - ok" deals, not the entire list of participating items.
Totino's Pizza Rolls, select varieties 15ct. - $1.25
Use $.35 coupon (doubles to $.70) = $.55
Final price after $3 off = $.25
Hunt's Manwich, select varieties 15.5 - 16oz. - $.88
Buy 2, use $.50/2 coupon (doubles to $1) = $.76/2
Final price after $3 off = $.16/ea.
Ragu Pasta Sauce, select varieties 16 - 26oz. - $1.50
Buy 3, use $1/3 coupon = $3.50/3
Final price after $3 off = $2.60/3 or $.87/ea.
Nabisco Ritz Crackers, select varieties 13 - 16oz. - $2.50
Buy 2, use $2/2 coupon = $1.50/ea.
Final price after $3 off = $1.20/ea.
For more deals check out Andrea's Snack Summaries for Kroger, Target and Walmart. Usually her deals will be slightly different than what is in our local fliers, but I've found that the sales are very close to being the same, and most of the time the sale is going on in our store but just not advertised in the flier.
Wed: Deer BBQ, Homemade Buns*, Peas
Thurs: Chicken Noodle Soup (made with leftover chicken from last week's menu), Rolls or Muffins
Fri: Pork Roast, Baked Potatoes, Corn (my last from the garden! :( )
Sat: Sunday School Social
Sun: Leftovers from BBQ meal
Mon: Spaghetti & Veg. Steamer
Tue: Leftover Pork, Mashed Potatoes, a Veg.
*Thanks to Andrea for including this link in her Menu Plan. This will be a new recipe for me to try, and I'm eager to see how it turns out! It looks yummy!
NOTE: The sales I am listing and have matched up with coupons are from our Central Va. sale-paper. It could vary by region. You can go to http://www.foodlion.com/ to see your local flier.
Food Lion does not double coupons that I am aware of. If you want to know your local store's coupon policy, contact their customer service and ask them about their coupon policy.
You can also sign up here for their weekly shopper's companion email. It always includes 4 coupons that you can print and use at their store. Limit 1 print per household.
Seedless Red Grapes - $.99/lb.
Select Varieties Pepsi Products, 12 pk. 12 oz. cans - 4/$11.00
Smithfield Spiral Sliced Hams, Reg. or Brown Sugar - $1.59/lb.
A good stock-up price on lunch meat!
Nabisco Snack Crackers - 2/$4.00
7 - 10oz. select varieties
Buy 2, use $2/2 coupon.
Final Price 2/$2 or $1/ea.
Hunts Ketchup - BOGO, limit 2 free
24oz. Final Price $1.73/2 or $.87/ea.
Colgate Toothpaste - BOGO, limit 2 free
6.4oz. select varieties
Use TWO (1 per item) $.75 coupons
Final price $1.49/2 or $.75/ea.
These are the deals that caught my eye. There are several more coupon/sale matches, but nothing that made it "cheap enough for me". Hopefully when the next salespaper comes out on Wednesday I'll be on the ball and get the deals posted sooner.